New Delhi: Even as the ongoing World Series Hockey struggles to make its presence felt in the absence of star Indian players, the Government of India on Friday fully backed the lucrative league, with Sports minister Ajay Maken even taking a dig at Hockey India for trying to scuttle the event.

Maken reiterated his support for WSH while lauding the organisers of the event for promoting the national game.

"The World Series Hockey is a great initiative. I fully support it. The tournament will not only promote the game of hockey, but will provide the players an opportunity to earn good money," said Maken, who was the chief guest during a WSH match between Delhi Wizards and Karnataka Lions at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

"This sort of tournament will also utilise the facilities which we have built during the 2010 Commonwealth Games," he added.

Maken took pot shots at Hockey India for suddenly increasing the list of probables for the London Olympics, from 34 to 48.

"I was simply surprised to see the list of probables. I don't know why they (HI) increased the list of probables. Initially, the list of probables was 34," the Sports Minister said.

All said and done, the first match of WSH at the capital drew poor response from the crowd, as just a handful of spectators were present at the stadium.